Benign skin lesion is an umbrella term for a range of lumps and bumps including moles, cysts, keratoses, skin tags, calluses, corns and warts.
Each makes its own mark on the skin and can be unsightly, itchy or in extreme cases an obstacle to free movement or function.
Benign skin lesions are usually harmless and do not need to be removed. However, you may be advised to have a skin lesion removed if it interferes with your everyday life or it becomes cancerous.
You may also decide to have a skin lesion removed because you do not like the way that it looks – removal for cosmetic reasons is not funded by the NHS.
Treatment will depend on the size of the lesion, how deep it is and where it is on your body. Benign skin lesion removal takes place under local anaesthetic.
Depending on the benign skin lesion to be removed, you may experience one of the following procedures:
This depends on the technique being used and the extent of the lesion. You will be given an idea of how long your procedure will take at your pre-operation assessment.
All benign skin lesion removal procedures are carried out as day cases, so there is no need for a stay in our hospital.
The area treated may be red and raised for a while. If you have had stitches we will advise you when to come back in to have them removed. Dissolvable stitches will usually disappear between 10 to 14 days after surgery. Pain is usually minimal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.
Depending on the sort of lesion you have had removed and where it is on your body, your surgeon may advise you to avoid stretching the skin in the area where surgery has taken place while you still have stitches.
For 48 hours after surgery you will need to keep the wound dry, and then gently clean it daily after that. You may also need to keep the treated area of skin out of the sun.
Scarring should be minimal and should fade significantly after three months.
Temporary side effects may include swelling, bruising and some pain. Complications are rare but may include infection (which can be treated with antibiotics), temporary damage to the nerves near the surface of the skin resulting in numbness or a burning sensation, unusually red or raised scars, or excessive bleeding.
If you experience any of these complications please contact the emergency post-care number we will have given you.
A pre-operative assessment is our opportunity to ensure that the procedure for which you have been referred is right for you. We’ll explain your treatment to you and make sure that you are well enough to go ahead with it. It is also your opportunity to meet the team who will care for you and to ask any questions.
Where benign skin lesion removal is not available on the NHS, or where the number of NHS procedures available has been reduced and has resulted in a longer waiting time, you can choose to pay for your treatment yourself via our self-pay option. You may also want to explore privately funding your treatment for other reasons which are personal to your circumstances.
Self-pay is available if you find you are not eligible for NHS-funded care and do not have private medical insurance.
You will need an open referral letter from your GP (we can help you with this). Because we don’t include all of the costly extras you may associate with private hospital treatment, paying for yourself could cost you considerably less than you might imagine too. There are also financing options available, to help you spread the cost.
We continue to support NHS England during the Coronavirus crisis by providing the additional capacity it needs to treat non COVID-19 patients, but are now planning a gradual return to treating our own elective patients.